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Not sailing the high seas!

Wish Upon a Duke
(12 Dukes of Christmas Book 3)
Erica Ridley
regency, historical fiction, romance
WebMotion
(20 Nov. 2018)

Love, Actually…

Rumor has it, charming adventurer Christopher Pringle is finally ready to settle down. He’s searching for a free-spirited bride to join him on his travels. But when the matchmaker he hires turns out to be the woman he had a public spat with the day before, nothing goes as planned!

Miss Gloria Godwin loves exploring the world… from the safety of a book. She detests her dashing client’s attempts to force her from her comfort zone. It should be easy to marry off the handsome heir to a dukedom. But the more she tries to match him to other women, the harder it gets to say goodbye…

This is part 3 of the 12 Dukes of Christmas stories, although the hero in this story is not actually a Duke, his brother is (and the Duke of the first story). Christmas of course, is the village of that name set somewhere in the mythical high lands beyond the Lake District, that is high in the (non-existent) mountains and which gets a lot of snow.

This village seems to have a very short spring and summer but the local population love the weather as it brings the tourists – along with the name of the village of course. And the time setting of these stories is right for when the Romantics started the craze of visiting the Lake District and falling in love with its scenery (not to mention writing rhapsodical poems under the influence of drugs).

So our not-Duke hero comes to the village with one thought in mind – he needs a bride to take with him on his travels, and he has 4 weeks to obtain this bride as his ship sails then. Of course, there are many maidens in this village who wold be delighted to go with him, but he sets his sight on one who is very reluctant to leave the village indeed. Our heroine hates the thought of travel as travel has brought her the loss of her father and her fiancée. She does however, love telescopes, astronomy and clockwork – and fiddling with them.

This is why I love reading these stories.

They are light. Predictable and happy and always with a much more modern heroine than you can imagine – in more ways than you can expect from a Regency novel! All her heroines are well educated often in unusual, for the time, subjects, and all of them happy to be unmarried.

Series in Order:

  1. Once Upon a Duke
  2. Kiss of a Duke
  3. Wish Upon a Duke
  4. Never Say Duke
  5. Dukes, Actually
  6. The Duke’s Bride
  7. The Duke’s Embrace
  8. The Duke’s Desire
  9. Dawn with a Duke
  10. One Night with a Duke
  11. Ten Days with a Duke
  12. Forever Your Duke

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It’s cold ‘up north’….

Once Upon a Duke Book Cover Once Upon a Duke
The 12 Dukes of Christmas #1
Erica Ridley
historical romance, Regency, humour
WebMotion
(9 Oct. 2018)
Kindle

Beware romantic spirits from Christmas past...

Due to the terms of an estranged relative's will, the Duke of Silkridge must revisit the cold, unforgiving mountains where he lost everything he once loved. As soon as he restores his family legacy, he'll return to London where he belongs. He definitely won't rekindle the forbidden spark crackling between him and the irresistible spitfire he'd left behind...

Noelle Pratchett is immune to charming scoundrels like the arrogant duke. He stole her heart, stole a kiss, and then stole away one night never to return. Now he's back—and they both know he won't stay. But how can she maintain her icy shields when every heated glance melts her to her core?

The Twelve Dukes of Christmas is a laugh-out-loud historical romance series of heartwarming Regency romps nestled in a picturesque snow-covered village. After all, nothing heats up a winter night quite like finding oneself in the arms of a duke!

Another really nice historical romance by Erica Ridley.
Here we have a Duke – who has emotional issue due his childhood and is forced into going to a place he doesn’t like, and is also forced out of his normal life patterns by events.
Erica always writes in a way that we can see her heroes and heroines from a modern contemporary viewpoint and thus feel empathy for them. Her heroines are also not demure ‘never say boo to a goose’ females. Rater they are full of vim and vigur and have minds and accomplishments that are not necessarily expected in this genre. Which is why I like to read them…

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Is Gambling a Vice?

Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel Book Cover Lord of Vice: Regency Romance Novel
Rogues to Riches Book 6
Erica Ridley
history, literary fiction, romance, Regency
31 Aug 2018
Kindle

Appearances can be deceiving…

Vice merchant Maxwell Gideon is wickedly handsome, sinfully arrogant, and devilishly ruthless. Rumor has it, his gaming hell has the power to steal souls and grant miracles. Truth is, Max only owns half of The Cloven Hoof. He’d buy out his silent partner if he knew the man’s identity. But it’s hard to focus on business matters when a fallen angel tumbles right into one’s lap…

Miss Bryony Grenville has a well-earned reputation as an unrepentant hoyden. But even the gossipiest of the pinch-faced matrons ruling High Society could never imagine the daughter of a baron secretly financing the ton’s most infamous gambling parlor. Its maddening, sexy proprietor doesn’t suspect a thing… and two can play at temptation!

In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley, Cinderella stories aren’t just for princesses… Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.

Well of course Gambling is a Vice and people have been known to lose a fortune and their whole estates at the turn of a card. Hence the proprietor of a Gambling Den in the Regency period might be know as the Lord  of Vice.

But perhaps that isn’t all he is. Perhaps he is egalitarian as to who he admits – to lose money – everyone welcome as long as you can pay.

Erica has chosen a topic here for this latest in her ‘naughty’ Lords series which doesn’t sit well with me. And her heroine helps her ‘Lord’ with her mathematical skills – for which we have to laud her – to work out how to make the most profit from the games of chance. Or that is, how to get people to lose the most cash…

But we do like Max – we have met him before in other books in this series, as he does have another side, which is softer and does help those who have fallen on hard times – and not by gambling!

So Bryony, the final sibling meets her match and also the tenant of her property which gives her a goodly amount of profit – which goes back into her sister’s school. Bad turned into good?

What I like most about Erica Ridley’s books is that she is true to the times. She writes with the ‘correct’ Regency novel phrasing – as invented by Georgette Heyer and attempts to echo the correct speech mannerisms using some phrases and words which were in common use then, but no longer. She accurately reflects some of societal issues and events – as far as is possible whilst writing a modern novel.

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Please don’t tempt me….

Lord of Temptation Book Cover Lord of Temptation
Rogues to Riches #4
Erica Ridley
history, literary fiction, romance
WebMotion
March 30, 2018

Be careful what you wish for...

When Lord Hawkridge inherits a penniless marquessate, he must abandon his courtship of the lowborn girl he loves. Years later, she rises from commoner to textiles heiress. Hawk has never banished her from his heart. Here's their chance to share his home! But how can he convince a woman whose trust he destroyed that he desires her far more than her money?

Faith Digby's chaotic world is too full to bother with men. She controls half a boarding school, one life-endangering secret, and two recently gentrified parents. There's no time for the old flame roaring back into her life. Not when admitting she still loves him would imperil everything and everyone she holds dear...

In the Rogues to Riches historical romance series by USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Erica Ridley, Cinderella stories aren't just for princesses... Sigh-worthy Regency rogues sweep strong-willed young ladies into whirlwind romance with rollicking adventure.

A nicely told tale (as always from Erica) that follows on from the story of the school for indigent girls we’ve read about before in this series.

This is now the story of Faith, the co-founder/headmistress/accountant. We now find out how her family came into their money and just how recent it was – they are seriously nouveau-riche and ‘trade’ and thus far from respectable to the haughty ‘ton’. We also meet young Christina. the book-worm. But I found her reading matter a little young by my standards but still, she was Victorian/Regency period and thus perhaps it was advanced for that age.

Victorian/Regency morality and class prejudice are nicely explored.

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No Noise?

House of Silence Book Cover House of Silence
Sarah Barthel
Fiction
Kensington
2016-12
300

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin s future like that of every young woman hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle s visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiance commit a horrific crime and no one believes her. Gregory denies all, and Isabelle s mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband s assassination. In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine. Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel's debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling."

The publisher’s write-up sounded fabulous and so I attempted to read this book several times. But found that whilst the beginning was engaging, once Isabelle was committed to the asylum, I found myself getting less interested and less interested. Somehow my attention wandered… I never managed to complete the book.

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